Request an authority using Online PBS Authorities in HPOS

Request a new authority using the online Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities system on Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

As an approved prescriber, you no longer need to call us to request PBS authority approval for:

  • the majority of PBS items (excluding some complex written Authority Required items and Alzheimer's items), and
  • increased quantities or repeats for those items

You can request PBS authority approvals online through:

  • PBS Authorities on HPOS, or
  • upgraded clinical and prescribing software, when available

Additionally you or your delegate can submit PBS written authority documents using Form Upload in HPOS. You can use the form upload function through HPOS Messages. Form upload lets you securely send messages with forms and supporting documents directly to us. This function confirms forms have been received and there's no postal delays.

Learn more about form upload in HPOS.

Complete the Form Upload service eLearning module for additional information.

Existing phone and written arrangements for Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) approvals through the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Approval Centre (VAPAC) remain unchanged.

Step 1: log on to HPOS and access PBS Authorities

To access HPOS you need to use your Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account. PRODA is an authentication system used to securely access certain government online services. Designed using a two-step verification process, it requires a username, password and verification code to log on.

Learn more about HPOS and PRODA.

If you need a PRODA account, register for one now.

When you are logged on to HPOS, select My programs on your homepage to display a list of programs you have access to.

Select PBS Authorities to access the Online PBS Authorities system.

The location of the PBS Authorities tile may differ depending on how many programs you have access to.

Step 2: select Request Authority

To request a new authority for your patient, select Request Authority.

Step 3: enter patient Medicare Number

Enter your patient’s 11 digit Medicare number, without any spaces or slashes, then select Search.

The search results will appear for the selected Medicare Number as well as the patient’s:

  • name
  • date of birth, and
  • Medicare number and expiry

Select the tick box next to your patient, then select Next.

Step 4: enter Authority Prescription Number

Enter the Authority Prescription Number as shown on the PBS authority prescription, then select Next.

Step 5: select the PBS item to be prescribed

To search for the item to be prescribed enter the brand or medicine name as a Keyword or  enter the PBS Item Code then select Search.

Tip: type the first few letters to find the item you’re prescribing. For example 'dexam' will display results such as 'dexamphetamine', 'dexamethasone', 'dexamethasone + framycetin sulfate + gramicidin'.

Select the tick box next to the item that will be prescribed.

After the item has been selected, the Prescribed Quantity and Prescribed Repeats will default to the PBS listed quantity and repeats for the item. The Prescribed Quantity and Prescribed Repeats can be changed for the prescription.

The Daily Dose must also be entered.

Note: Daily dose is needed to calculate the number of days within a treatment cycle. Enter a number from 1 to 999, for example enter 4 for four tablets per day.

If the dose is or includes partial dose, add the ‘+’ symbol at the end of the number to represent a value between whole numbers. For example enter 1+ to represent a daily dose between 1 and 2, such as 1.5 tablets or 1.75ml.

Enter the following if a daily dose can’t be measured:

  • X for items that aren’t measured by dosage, such as creams and ointments, or for items that are used less frequently, such as patches used weekly
  • D for directions given to the patient but not entered into the application, or
  • N for no directions given to the patient or entered into the application

After the Daily Dose has been entered, select Next.

When you search for a Growth Hormone item code you need to enter prescription details.

We recommend you use the ‘Dose and cartridge quantity calculator' on the Department of Health website before completing the Prescribed Quantity, Prescribed Repeats and Weekly dose with the unit.

Accepted units for weekly dose include:

  • mg/m²/week
  • mg/kg/week

After you enter the prescription details select Next.

Step 6: select the PBS restriction

To determine the eligibility criteria for the PBS authority application select the relevant Restriction Code tick box.

To see restriction details in full, such as notes, cautions and warnings, select the Display Restriction Detail link.

Note: If the word “Streamlined” appears in the Selected PBS Item section of the screen, you may not have to proceed with the online authority application. If you are prescribing within the PBS listed quantity and repeats for a streamlined authority item, write the four-digit Streamlined Authority Code on the PBS prescription. You can then Exit the authority application.

If prescribing a streamlined item above the PBS listed quantity and repeats; or prescribing a Restricted Benefit or Authority Required item, to continue with the authority request select the relevant Restriction Code tick box and then Next.   

The Restriction Text, Notes and Cautions pop-up will display. It provides further information about the PBS Restriction in accordance with the PBS listing.

If you agree that the authority application meets the restriction information displayed, select Next, or select Close to return to the Restriction Selection screen.

Step 7: answer questions about the PBS restriction

Note: skip Step 7 for growth hormone authorities

An authority application may need additional information by answering questions about the PBS restriction. Answers may need to be in text, a number, a date or selected from a drop down menu, as presented on screen.

Select Next after you answer all questions.

Step 8: answer eligibility questions for Growth Hormone

After you select the restriction and Next at Step 6, confirmation of the Condition and Treatment combination you’re prescribing will display.

To enable the system to make the correct assessment, select your patient’s Biological Sex.

Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for each series of eligibility questions. Your response will determine what questions are asked next.

Select Next Questions to move through the Eligibility Questions.

Questions are structured as single questions, or a set of ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ questions.

  • AND’ sets of questions need a response to each question.
  • OR’ sets of questions only need 1 question to be answered. This includes selecting ‘no’ to one of the questions if the patient doesn’t meet any of the options.

After all eligibility questions have been completed, enter your patient’s data into the fields.

Select Next when all data has been entered.

Step 9: submit your application

The Authority Prescription screen displays information about the patient and the item being prescribed.

Comments may be added to the application in the Authority Comments text box.

Confirm all information displayed is correct. If you see a mistake in the application, it can be edited from this screen by pressing Edit in the relevant area.

When you’re ready to submit the application, tick the Declaration Statement tick box and select Submit.

Step 10: application assessment result

The authority assessment result will display in real-time.

Possible assessment results for a PBS authority application include:

  • Approved
  • Rejected
  • Authority not required
  • Approved with changes
  • Previously rejected/now approved

If the application has been approved, write the PBS Authority Approval Number and PBS Item Code on the prescription.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities homepage, or select a Record New Authority option to start the next request for an Authority application.

Further information

Time out screen

If your HPOS session times out, select the PBS Authorities link. You’ll need to re-enter your PRODA username and password and may need to enter your authentication code into the system. After logging in again, select the PBS Authorities tile to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

Invalid Authority Prescription Number

If the number isn’t valid you’ll need to select Amend Number to re-enter the Authority Prescription Number. If you select Continue without amending the invalid Authority Prescription Number, your PBS authority application will be rejected at the application Assessment Result screen.

Tip: alphabetical characters are invalid values for an Authority Prescription Number. If the Authority Prescription Number is entered with alphabetical characters, the error message will display 154: Invalid value/s in the following fields: Authority Prescription Number.

Hospital Provider Number

The hospital provider number field is only mandatory for Highly Specialised Drug public or private hospital items. If you need to fill in a Hospital Provider Number you do this on the Item Search screen, after entering Dose.

Overriding an assessment result

A rejected application may be resubmitted for any of the following reasons:

(Note: all reasons may not be available for all medicines)

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Destroyed
  • Inaccessible
  • Change in Dose
  • Regulation 24
  • Special Drugs
  • Ineffective
  • Contra-indicating
  • Adverse Reaction
  • Break in Therapy, and
  • Change in Strength

Select from the Reason Code Override drop down and select Resubmit.

Note: if the date of prescribing is different to the previous application, the Resubmit Authority pop up will display with the warning - By re-submitting this Authority request the original date of prescribing will be overwritten. Do you wish to continue? Select Yes, to confirm the original date of prescribing will be overwritten to today’s date. Update the PBS prescription with today’s date.

If approved, the assessment result will be Previously rejected/now approved. Write the PBS Authority approval number and PBS item code on the prescription.

Select Exit to return to the PBS Authorities home page.

Search for existing PBS authorities

For more information about finding or amending an existing PBS authority application, go to Search for an existing authority using Online PBS Authorities in HPOS.

Reason Codes

For more information about Reason Codes, go to PBS reason codes for Online PBS Authorities.

Page last updated: 5 October 2017